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About this Guide
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FWC xpans rt t nsurFlria is t unisput‘Bass Fising Capital t Wrl’
The seven-member Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) is appointed to
staggered terms by the governor and meets ve
times a year to hear staff reports, consider rule
proposals, and conduct other Commission business.
Under Florida’s Constitution, we enact rules and
regulations regarding the state’s sh and wildlife
resources and help staff achieve their mission of
managing sh and wildlife resources for their long-
term well-being and the benet of people.
According to the latest National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated
Recreation (2011), Florida continues to provide more hours of recreational freshwater sh
-ing enjoyment than any other state (25.7 million; Texas, the next highest, had 22.6 million).Overall (freshwater and saltwater), Florida ranked No. 1 with 3.1 million anglers (No. 2 New York had 1.9 million), and total expenditures of $5 billion (No. 2 New York spent $2.7 billion).
Florida’s role as the shing destination for travelers was also overwhelmingly reafrmed, with
1.2 million nonresident anglers visiting the state (No. 2 Michigan had 347,000). The ripple ef-
fect of these dollars was an $8.7 billion economic impact that supported 80,211 jobs in Florida.
During 2012–13, FWC staff in the Division of Freshwater Fisheries Management have
moved forward aggressively to implement the Florida Black Bass Management Plan (BBMP),
which we approved following scientic review and citizen input. As you’ve seen, Florida already
is the “Fishing Capital of the World.” Now, we look forward to working with stakeholdersto document that Florida is also the undisputed “Bass Fishing Capital of the World.” The
BBMP identied four main areas of focus: New Opportunities, Habitat Management, Fish
Management and People Management. Progress has been made in each area. You can learnmore details on the MyFWC.com/Fishing website (select Black Bass Management, or FishBusters’ Bulletins to learn more), and be sure to read the article on Page 18.
You can learn more not only about mandatory freshwater shing regulations in this
publication but also about our management philosophies, funding for conservation (largely
through shing license sales and grants from the Federal Aid in Sport Fish Restoration
program), angler recognition programs and shing tips.
A crucial new program that benets the resource, you the user and the economy is TrophyCatch.
This angler conservation/reward program rewards anglers for recycling bass heavier than8 pounds, after properly documenting their catch and release. Visit TrophyCatchFlorida.comand see Page 29 for more details on this and other angler recognition programs.